The asteroid that killed off the dinosaurs and created the Chicxulub crater in Yucatán may have not been an asteroid after all.
Scientists at Harvard University now believe that a comet propelled by Jupiter’s gravity was the real culprit.
The comet is thought to have likely originated from a remote area of the solar system known as the Oort cloud.
The Chicxulub crater is named after a town of the same name, which sits near its center. The crater has a diameter of over 180 kilometers, and it is believed that the heat produced by the impact liquified the ground and created the network of cenotes for which Yucatán is famous.
Because of its great size, and the fact that much of it is underwater, the crater is impossible to observe with the naked eye. However, researchers since the 1970s have studied its composition for clues regarding the literally world-shaking event.
Scientists maintain that the force of the explosion must have released energy over a billion times higher than the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.